By Lewis Bayly
O wretched Man! where shall I begin to describe thine endless misery, who art condemned as soon as conceived; and adjudged to eternal death, before thou wast born to a temporal life? A beginning indeed, I find, but no end of thy miseries. For when Adam and Eve, being created after God's own image, and placed in Paradise, that they and their posterity might live in a blessed state of life immortal, having dominion over all earthly creatures, and only restrained from the fruit of one tree, as a sign of their subjection to the almighty Creator; though God forbade them this one small thing, under the penalty of eternal death; yet they believed the devil's word before the word of God, making God, as much as in them lay, a liar. And so being unthankful for all the benefits which God bestowed on them, they became malcontent with their present state, as if God had dealt enviously or niggardly with them; and believed that the devil would make them partakers of far more glorious things than ever God had bestowed upon them; and in their pride they fell into high-treason against the Most High; and disdaining to be God's subjects, they affected blasphemously to be gods themselves, equals to God. Hence, till they repented (losing God's image) they became like the devil; and so all their posterity, as a traitorous brood (whilst they remain impenitent, like thee) are subject in this life to all cursed miseries, and, in the life to come, to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Lay then aside for a while thy doting vanities, and take the view with me of thy doleful miseries; which duly surveyed, I doubt not but that thou wilt conclude, that it is far better never to have nature's being, than not to be by grace a practitioner of religious piety.
Consider therefore thy misery-
1. In thy life. 2. In thy death. 3. After death.
In thy life, 1. The miseries accompanying thy body; 2. The miseries which deform thy soul.
In thy death, The miseries which shall oppress thy body and soul.
After death, The miseries which overwhelm both body and soul together in hell.
And, first, let us take a view of those miseries which accompany the body in the four ages of life, viz. infancy, youth, manhood, and old age.